Jury recommends death for man convicted of killing police officer and SLO native

REDWOOD CITY — Jurors have recommended the death penalty for a 26-year-old man convicted of killing a police officer in California.

The same jurors who convicted Alberto Alvarez of murder with special circumstances in November determined Tuesday that he should be sentenced to death. Alvarez was found guilty of fatally shooting 38-year-old Officer Richard May in 2006 in East Palo Alto.

May was born and raised in San Luis Obispo and previously worked as a Lompoc police officer.

San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told jurors during the trial that

Alvarez shot May to avoid going back to prison for a parole violation. Alvarez testified he opened fire because he feared for his life.

Defense attorney Charles Robinson says he expects his client to seek an appeal, with the appeal process expected to take 10 or 15 years.